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View of the Xeelee Ring by steve-burg View of the Xeelee Ring by steve-burg
This is a revision of one of my first posts [link] The original image was a frame from a 3D animation, and hence it was not a large image.

However, few subjects beg for a high res image as much as the immense Xeelee structure at the heart of Stephen Baxter's mind-stretching epic book "Ring". [link]

And few subjects are as challenging to visualize. A full appreciation is only possible from reading the novel, but you may notice there are entire galaxies that appear in front of the Ring. This is due to the immense scale of the artifact - it is as wide as a hundred galaxies.

The structure is composed of a single strand of "string" - a defect in space-time - that is being woven from the crushed debris of countless whole galaxies. The mysterious Xeelee have been working on this project for quite some time - for several billion years in fact.

What is the purpose of such a monstrous construction? The Xeelee intend to use the Ring to initiate a "Kerr Metric" [link] - in effect a doorway that exits the Universe. You may wonder at the reaons they undertake such a task, but I won't spoil the book! :D

So who are the Xeelee? They are the oldest sentient race in the Universe - and one of its greatest mysteries. But as one character states with regard to the Ring: "...that they have the audacity to even dream of such a device!"

Incidentally, those small points of light in the background aren't stars. The Ring occupies an immense empty void, and those lights back there are whole galaxies on the far side...

That's why I like science fiction ;)
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:iconxhodocto385:
Xhodocto385 Featured By Owner May 28, 2016
it's so incredible, i imagine that the Xeelee are made of spacetime defects, including the contents of the Ring, the Xeelee are the most truly alien race in sci-fi.
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:iconlord-sunday-s:
Lord-Sunday-s Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
Awesome!
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:iconqraal:
qraal Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
Ten Million light years across... unimaginable levels of gravitational lensing should be seen around it. Galaxy arcs.
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:icondblood42:
dblood42 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013
The Xeelee sequence represents the highest peak of science fiction for me. I love the kind of science fiction that shows us how unimportant one human is compared to the great powers and events happening in our universe. Like an electron compared to a human body.
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:iconmerkmuds:
merkmuds Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015
My top favorite is the Manifold trilogy. 
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:iconalex-brady-tad:
Alex-Brady-TAD Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Bolders Ring! Awesome!!
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:iconzaku1986:
zaku1986 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Holy crap! This is... I don't even... wow... just wow.
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:iconfartytreefrog:
FARTYTREEFROG Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
like to bet your work does justice to the story.
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:icontanukitagawa:
TanukiTagawa Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
**A space landscape very well done! :clap: Really awesome! :wow:
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:iconchosenone54:
ChosenOne54 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
I love this, using this as my wallpaper right now. :)

I'm a big fan of Stephen Baxter's books, I honestly think they are some of the best literary sci-fi out there. His stories are just on such a massive, mind-boggling scale.
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:icondarkpeter:
darkpeter Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
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:icondigimaree:
Digimaree Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012
at work - and now I want to read the book too!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Oh - it's a terrific book! :nod:
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:icondigimaree:
Digimaree Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012
That was meant to say "great" work, not at work.
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:icondraconiain:
draconiain Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
looks prety cool
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! :)
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:icondraconiain:
draconiain Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
no problem
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:iconmac2010:
mac2010 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2012  Professional General Artist
now that IS scale!! :)
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Yes, it is somewhat on the large side! :D
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:iconmac2010:
mac2010 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
:)
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:icon9nin:
9nin Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Damn!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
:D
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:iconah-teen:
Ah-Teen Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student Photographer
cool
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! :)
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:iconjeroendedauw:
JeroenDeDauw Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012
The Xeelee sequence is the most epic story I know - great image :)
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Certainly - when I read "Ring" - it reset all my ideas of what "epic" really is :nod:
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:iconchosenone54:
ChosenOne54 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012
This is awesome.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! I'm glad you like it :)
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:iconmykolask:
MykolasK Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
:OOOOOOOOOOOOOO I am a BIG fan of sci-fi and I would like to read this book sooo so so so much. Do You maybe know where I can find this book in audio format?
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I don't know if this particular book is available on audio - I'll have to look into that, because I would like to have that too!
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:iconmykolask:
MykolasK Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
I looked all over for it in the net but I just could'nt find it.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Professional Filmographer
It might not exist. Part of the reason I posted this piece - with a plug for the book - was that it's strangely overlooked.

There's a lot of stuff that's comparatively lame that is really easy to find. Last time I went to a book store, the science fiction section was about 2/3 Star Wars and Robotech "novels" and the good stuff was sort of pushed aside.

I thought "Wow! :eyepopping: There sure is a lot of crap out there!" Maybe if the audio book companies get some emails they will make an audio version of the book.

If not, I'm sure at least some of Stepehen Baxter's books are available - he's a good writer across the board.
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:iconmykolask:
MykolasK Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
:) I know, King's good. We have reries of world's best fiction authors here in lithuania. I have somewhat over 200 books from those series. havf of them are crap, but one third of them are really good, like a book "deathstalker", the witcher, the night guard and so on and so on.. but I have never seen this book of yours in stores. Will keep my eyes open, though :)
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I hope you find it :nod:
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:iconmykolask:
MykolasK Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
me 2
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:iconupwinger:
Upwinger Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Now, that's a picture that really says "Lords of the Baryonic Universe". I loved the whole damn sequence and I think I read all the books and most of the short stories. I was waiting for somebody on DA to properly show the awesome and amazing things you read in Baxter's works.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I am a huge fan of all the Xeelee books - and I think in "Ring" he kind of put it all together in one amazing package :D
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:iconchosenone54:
ChosenOne54 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
Ring was a fantastic read. My favourite book of his which I have read to far though is Vacuum Diagrams.

Have you read that one? One of his best works.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I have read Vacuum Diagrams (short stories, I believe). I have so far liked everything I've read from Stephen Baxter :nod:
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:iconchosenone54:
ChosenOne54 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012
Yep, short stories. :)

Vacuum Diagrams is probably my favourite which I've read, in terms of sheer scale and the scope of the novel. Baxter is definitely one of my favourite authors.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I get a lot of inspiration from Baxter, and written science fiction in general. I always like when things make sense, no matter how far out or advanced the technology. As a designer, I think an original visual has to start with the idea of what something is. When that idea is based on some real projection based on physics, it leads to a different solution than the typical "spaceship" (a lot of them look to me like WWII battleships with a rocket engine stuck on the back!)
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:iconchosenone54:
ChosenOne54 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2012
I agree, Stephen Baxter has a lot of really interesting and creative ideas. The best part is, you actually get a sense that he knows what he is talking about, unlike the writers so so many other sci-fi series'. And yes, a lot of really great designs. The idea of a Spline ship intrigued me; a living creature renting itself out as transportation or as warships. And the design of the Nightfighters, like a massive pitch-black bird. So much better than the rather generic designs of televised sci-fi nowadays.
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:iconmutiny-in-the-air:
mutiny-in-the-air Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed, I imagine the amount of energy needed to exit the universe would be astronomical.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Professional Filmographer
It's pretty cool how it's laid out in the book. A black hole would probably give you a doorway out of the universe - the problem is you wouldn't survive the passage to the other side.

The reason for the size and the design of the Ring makes sense. They don't just need a doorway - they need one you can pass through and survive. So basically, they've manufactured a "black hole equivalent" with a large safe zone in the middle - hence the ring shape and the enormous size. Nothing smaller would work.

It's all really cool, and a far cry from where we are currently: planet-bound and incapable of sending half a dozen humans to the nearest neighboring planet in our own solar system. Well, maybe some day... :D
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:icondurgaaz:
Durgaaz Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
aaaaah! Fan art from one of my favorite books by my favorite author! this is fantastic!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I'm glad you like it! :D
Baxter is fantastic - what an amazing imagination he has :nod:
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:icondurgaaz:
Durgaaz Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Definitely have to agree! Looking forward to reading his new one, Stone Spring, sometimes soon.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I will look for it :D
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012   Traditional Artist
That really looks like the kind of book I need to read. I've realised from experience that I'm something of a 'hard sf' fan. Needless to say, I'm sure when I read it I'll see what a great job you've done visualising the Ring. :meow:
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I'm a hard SF guy myself - I really like having the science worked out, no matter how out there the ideas might be.
"Ring" is an awesome book - and Baxter has the background in science to make it all very believable. I highly recommend it!
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